Published On: Tue, Dec 5th, 2017

Michael Schumacher doubted himself, reveals ex-Ferrari F1 boss Todt

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Michael Schumacher privately requested a Fiorano test the winter after winning his first Formula 1 title for Ferrari in 2000 to check his performance, FIA president Jean Todt has revealed.

Todt was Schumacher’s team boss throughout his time at Ferrari, and offered the insight as the seven-time F1 champion was inducted into the FIA’s new Hall of Fame in Paris on Monday.

Schumacher, who is still recovering from head injuries he sustained in a skiing crash in 2013, was unable to attend but his manager Sabine Kehm represented him.

Todt said two episodes stood out for him from their time together, which included dominating F1 from 2000-04.

“I remember when he was driving for Ferrari, and there are two things I will mention,” said Todt.

“In 2000, after 21 years, Ferrari was champion with Michael.

“I took him to the podium, and I said ‘Michael, our racing life will never be the same’.

“Clearly that day at Suzuka, that has been the strongest moment in my career.

“Another thing to show what Michael is like: when he was finishing the 2000 season as champion, we were starting the 2001 season. He asked me, quite shy, because he’s a shy guy. He looks arrogant but he’s shy.

“He asked me, ‘would you allow me to do some testing in Fiorano to make sure I am still able to drive?’

“He was always full of doubt, whether he was a good driver or not. He made his testing, and he was not too bad…”

Schumacher missed

Todt said Schumacher’s absence from the opening of the Hall of Fame was felt by everyone there.

Schumacher’s European Formula 3 racer son Mick and wife Corinna were invited but unable to attend.

“We miss Michael,” said Todt. “He’s there, still fighting.

“I’m happy to have Sabine here, to run the family business. I wanted Mick to come tonight but he’s doing some testing in Spain and Corinna is in the States.

“A fight is going on. Michael is someone very special, someone special for motorsport. He’s special to me, he’s a friend.”

Kehm, who accepted Schumacher’s induction to the Hall of Fame, said: “I’m just a poor replacement this evening.

“We all know Michael should be here. I’m sure he would love to be here.

“He always had the highest respect for everyone in this room. He would feel honoured.

“I also know how big a friend Michael is of Jean. I’m sure he would be proud of him for making this possible.

“I think what made him so successful was the love and compassion with everyone else in the room, the love and passion for this sport.”

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